Tuesday, September 29, 2009


She listened to my words. She tried to internalize them. She sympathized. She accepted the premise that my having gay friends and "connections" would be a good thing for our marriage.

I promised to be honest about such gay friends and "connections", no longer hiding and living in secret double-life encounters, and receive her permission-of-sorts to do those things which we both deemed acceptable and comfortable.

A "connection" with a gay friend was arranged with mutual acceptance and comfort, restricted a bit by what kind of activity was tolerable and reasonably accommodated by both parties...

But, when I ACTUALLY DID go forward with the said pre-approved "connection", the end result was nothing but hurt and pain.

"I know you were upfront about it and honest with me, but I didn't think you'd actually do it!"

"I'm confused," I stood there baffled and dumbfounded at the grief and pain I had unintentionally or obliviously inflicted on her, "I thought we talked about this and you were okay with it - otherwise I wouldn't have gone."

"I know... I know, but I didn't think you'd actually do it. Don't you realize the pain this is causing me watching you DATE other men? Do you want me to start DATING other men?"

"Of course not. But having good friends is a good thing, right? And, by the way, this isn't "dating"! I stated emphatically, trying to put my foot down on a huge misconception.

"Well, it feels like you're dating to me!"

"It was just lunch - it was like a business lunch."

"But what business do you have together? What is driving you to meet together? Isn't that you want to satisfy your attraction needs with another man?"

And so... there you have it.

As much as she wants to understand, as much as she wants to bend and compromise and allow my freedom to "connect", she can't get past the idea of my "dating" other men.

AARRGGHHH! It's not dating (am I?). I'm not courting him (am I?). I'm not courting anyone. I'm not trying to be romantic with him (am I?). I'm not seeking romance (am I?)... maybe bromance... but it's not the same, right? Am I right? Come on... tell me what you think!

Because right now, I'm feeling like one-on-one "connections" with two gay men on a semi-regular basis, from a wife's perspective, does sound a lot like "dating". And though dating behind the back seems immoral and full of infidelity, dating honestly in front of her, though not immoral, does seem a bit hurtful. Role reversals are great here, and yes, I'd say she would be "dating" if she had done the same.

But at the time, it didn't feel immoral or wrong or unfocused on my marriage. In fact, we ended up talking about our marriages and families and our desires to be better fathers and husbands. It felt good... nothing but good!


And then I go to Priesthood Leadership Meeting on Sunday early morning and endure all three members of the Stake Presidency speaking on "Fidelity in Marriage!" They wanted our suggestions for future discussions in quorums regarding this subject and I wanted to jump up and shout "What does a gay guy have to do gain trust in his wife such that having friendship connections with other gay guys won't be perceived as infidelity?" but, (heavy sigh) I didn't...


So, two steps forward and 1-3/4 steps back. I guess that is still 1/4 step forward, right? And at least now we are talking about it instead of hiding it. The dishonest behavior is gone, but if what is left is just hurt and pain - where's the progress in that?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The pleaser made me NOT do it...

My therapist tells me that I'm a "pleaser", that I want to make others happy and pleased with me and that I want to be responsible and diligent and do what others expect of me. (I still haven't decided if this is a bad thing or not, for this characteristic has inherent good qualities in it - I guess as long as it's not taken to the extreme and I no longer "stand up" for who I am in the spirit of "pleasing" others).

Anyway, in that spirit, I feel guilt for not responding to Abelard's request to blog about the "M" word, and so in order to fulfill my "pleaser" personality characteristic, I am obliging... with the hope that since this blog is still private, few, if any, will actually read what I have to say, and if it gets too uncomfortable, I can always delete it...

So, here goes...

I know for some this is impossible to believe, but I NEVER masturbated as a teen. I NEVER masturbated on my mission. I NEVER masturbated before I married. It was only after marriage, MANY years after my marriage (as I contemplated the meaning of it all and accepted that maybe I could be gay) that I finally masturbated.

Now, if you are laughing out loud, or pointing your finger at me and telling me that I'm nothing but a liar, than go ahead. I don't care. I know I don't fit the mold. I never did. I'm not like you. In this aspect, I feel extremely odd and different even from my fellow Moho brothers.

I was a pleaser. I was a "good boy". I was a "good scout". I was a "morally chaste teen" in every meaning of those words. That is what I was supposed to be. I wasn't supposed to do it, and so I didn't. Is it that hard to accept that this scenario was possible? When others of my piers were doing it in the tent at scout camp, I left and didn't participate.

As a teen, because of this sheltered and "good boy" upbringing, I gave my parents no grief. They didn't talk about it and I didn't ask. I had wet dreams, and morning erections, but I never did "the act". That was off limits. After all, I was supposed to be chaste. I was supposed to not look at girls in that way. And so, I didn't. It was easy. I did look at guys and did get excited, but I chalked it up as envy and never allowed myself to be sexually aroused to "that point".

When it was mission worthiness interview time, I had no problem in stating that I was CHASTE. I had not touched myself like others had. Wasn't that supposed to be what I was supposed to do? Wasn't I a good boy?

Okay... so you're still laughing at me, right? You still don't believe me. I know... I find it hard to believe as well. But, it's the truth.

So, on that fateful wedding night, as much as I wanted to, and as much as we tried, it didn't come off without a hitch. I was stunted. And I blame the church. I blame my parents. I blame the culture and society I was raised in.

This stunting has haunted me and caused incredible pain and suffering and has added to the confusion and frustration of intimacy with my wife and has scarred my relationship with her and with my own personal development.

We finally did figure it out, but by then it was already a "chore" instead of a "joy" and the difficulties from there only magnified. Only when I was able to finally explore my own personal sexuality years later did I come to find out the joy and satisfaction of what everyone else knew so much earlier. And this step aided me in finally allowing myself to retry again with my wife and come to some point of "joy" in our relationship. It has been a very long road, but one where we finally arrived so many years later.

She still feels that any form of masturbation is wrong and evil. She feels it takes to focus away from her and centers it on me. I don't need her and can fulfill my needs without her, and so, per her point of view, it is "wrong" as it isn't focused on our relationship. I can understand this, and so, in the spirit of being a "pleaser", I try to abide by her wishes.

That doesn't mean that I can say that I don't indulge. I do... particularly when that "volcano" inside me, that "pon farr" is about to drive me nuts. And I no longer feel guilt or evil, or even that this is wrong in and of itself. I'm not going to go to "hell" for it. I'm not a "bad boy". It is normal and healthy - particularly for someone as sexually stunted as I have been (there's a lot to make up for lost time :)) .

When all is said and done, and as I look back, I am still quite bitter for being raised the way I was. I am mad that such a distorted image of shame and guilt and ickiness was leveled at the subject of masturbation. I lay this directly at the steps of the church that so lectured a "pleaser" boy such as myself to the horrors of masturbation. It was a different generation and a different environment. But I feel stupid and duped and so wronged in the process. I didn't feel pure on my wedding night - I felt embarrassed and so frustrated.

I do not wish my life on anyone. I guess I am grateful that the more open environment of our culture today, even within the church, has lifted some of the taboo off of sex. Of course I've raised my kids to be sexually pure in every way, but I can't help but ask: have I done them the same disservice that I feel was done to me?

The other day my daughter walked out of her sociology college class when the subject of the day dealing with sex got too graphic for her delicate sensitivities. Is there a line of propriety? Is it really healthy to discuss it in a crass and crude way and mock or make fun of those who are uncomfortable with this open approach? Is there a point where it is never discussed and thus sheltered to the point of being unhealthy?

I can't help but wonder - if I were more sexually aware of myself, and had not shunned personal enjoyment, if I had been more open to personal sexual needs and desires and aware of my sexual fantasies and where they were leading me with my attractions to men (ever so obvious in hindsight-enlightened eyes as I look back on my adolescent years), would I have been more willing to accept my homosexuality then instead of decades later? And where would that personal and sexual honesty put me as I approached marriage? Would I have proceeded to marry?

Hindsight is never fair. I wasn't the person I am now. Don't get me wrong... I am grateful for the decisions I made that led me to my mission, my marriage, my family. I am grateful for these blessings. But, the road has been full of confusion and frustration, pain and struggle, bringing an innocent daughter of God into this suffering with me - and for what price? because I was supposed to be a "good boy".

I'm so tired of being the pleaser.

P.S. Abelard... I can't believe I wrote this. I hope you read it before I take it down. I'm still ashamed and embarrassed by this confession of stupidity and I still feel ashmed and guilty about this whole aspect of my life. I don't know if this is what you wanted, nor did it turn out to be what I had anticipated, but there you go... are you "pleased" with me?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grapefruit and oranges...

I was supposed to have another session with my therapist...

I didn't go.

Instead, I was faced with my wife wanting to discuss the "issues" at hand. She was concerned that I was not "trying hard enough" that I was "giving up". So, that became the priority and we talked... and cried... and misunderstood... and struggled... and cried some more...

Finally, I had to go to a meeting. So, our communication transitioned to email. Part of the discussion centered on fruit. Citrus fruit to be exact!

She wrote:

Believe it or not -- I just ate my very first grapefruit (I've never had more than two bites before, except when I was in Calcutta, and then it didn't taste like grapefruit -- it tasted like an orange). Wow! Are you impressed? I even squoze out the juice onto my spoon the way you do. And I enjoyed it.

This is how I did it:

I thought about it (grapefruit) a lot . I decided I am now an adult and can put aside my juvenile tastes and prejudices. I can't expect a grapefruit to taste like a sweet orange. It is, after all, a grapefruit. I need to appreciate its very grapefruit-y qualities. The very acidity needs to be savored and enjoyed.

It's kind of like learning to like dark chocolate -- which is funny, because I love dark chocolate now, and a few years ago, I couldn't choke it down.

And I WANT to like grapefruit!

Anyway, when I came in I took the grapefruit out of the refrigerator and sliced it open and sectioned it with a serrated knife, just like I do for you.

Then I sat down with it. Just before I ate it, I prayed for a miracle. -- and I got it. I actually liked even the very first bite! I was expecting it to be a grapefruit, and it was really a good grapefruit!

I ate every single bite, and even the juice at the end! I will definitely be eating more grapefruit from now on.

At first I took this analogy as accepting me as a grapefruit and being grateful for accepting me for who I am and not trying to make me be who I am not... but the more I thought about it, the more the message was... "see, I can change my tastes and desires if I just try hard enough". The subtle meaning of wishing that I would try harder to "change my tastes" came through and I became angry and frustrated that she, after all this time, and after all our struggles together, would still think that my "issues" would "change" if I would just "try hard enough".

So... if you are still with me at this point, here is my response:

This is great! I really appreciate your analogy here and your spirit of trying to change your tastes and choosing to overcome past prejudices and moving into new experiences. This is fantastic. Grapefruit is good. It may be an acquired taste for you, but it is still good. You were expecting it to be what it was, a grapefruit, and not to be an orange or a lemon. And with this perspective, you were able to enjoy the grapefruit for what it was.

You were not naturally "attracted" to grapefruit. You were okay with that because grapefruit didn't do anything for you and you didn't like its taste and you were fine in not choosing to eat grapefruit or associate with it and it was totally fine with you that grapefruit never would enter your life because you had no natural interest in grapefruit. But in the right mindset, you could change your mind and CHOOSE to be "attracted" to grapefruit. At the same time, you were able to accept the grapefruit for what it is.

My experience with you is very much the same. As hard as it is to say ( I am trying to be brutally honest here, so bear with me) I have not always been naturally "attracted" to you in a physical sense (I have been attracted to you in every other sense, from day one, including physically) and this has nothing to do with you. You are you. You are beautiful, just as the grapefruit is beautiful. And though I had the tendency not to physically be naturally attracted to all of your physical beauty and eroticness that makes you so appealing and wonderful sexually, I still loved you and CHOSE you and have become "attracted" to you in seeing and experiencing and desiring your beauty in so many ways. Though my natural likes and desires were elsewhere, though I didn't recognize this at the time, I CHOSE to be with you, to bond with you, to find joy with you.

Now, whether you will continue to like grapefruit or not remains to be seen. As for me, I have CHOSEN to be with you and want to desire you and don't want to go anywhere else.

But, to compare sexuality with natural likes and dislikes of food is somehow not a true comparison. Some professionals have argued that women don't really have a 'sexual orientation" as men do. I think it would be difficult for you to put yourself in an equivalent position as I am in. It isn't as simple as that. It isn't like just flipping a switch. If it were, then why is it such a big deal - anyone could change on a dime if they wanted to enough, right? But they don't. And why don't they? Do they just not desire to change their attractions hard enough? Do they just not sit down at the table and eat in the right frame of mind? Can they not get over that a grapefruit doesn't taste like an orange and so forget it?

I have tried. Many have tried. I hope you are not insinuating that I haven't tried hard enough, and that if I just would try hard enough all of this "natural attraction" stuff would just magically go away and disappear... I had a sour look on my face when I came home today because I felt you really thought that it really was as easy as wishing or desiring or trying and things would change if I'd just do it hard enough... I believe you know better.

This isn't something that I have chosen. Did you choose to be attracted to men? I know you say that I'm the only man you are attracted to, but I don't believe it. That would put you as an extreme oddity in all humankind - to be attracted to only one person. I don't mean that you want to be sexual with another man, but do you find men attractive, sexy, interesting? I can't be the only man that you are attracted to. But, say that I AM the only man you have ever been attracted to... so, why are you attracted to me? Did you choose to be attracted to me? Or was it just something natural that happened? You often answer my question of why you love me with "just because". Just because! And why did it happen? As repulsive as it may sound to you, why were you not attracted to another woman? You see, you didn't just sit down and choose to be attracted to me. It just naturally happened.

I can honestly say that I was instantly "attracted" to you from the first moment I saw you. You sparked something inside me that no other woman ever had done before or ever since. I can't explain it other than it was a miracle. And I have held onto that magical miracle of fireworks that went off inside me when I first met you. I have never forgotten those feelings or desires. This is a true "tender mercy" that I hold dear and sacred in my life.

As you are my grapefruit, some men are oranges to me. I am naturally attracted to oranges. I didn't choose to be, I just am. I like oranges. I like being around and interacting with oranges that are like me. That doesn't mean that I don't desire my grapefruit. You aren't an acquired taste, but instead a different taste, a beautiful taste, a wonderful pleasure.

I think this analogy isn't going anywhere successfully...

What I'm trying to say is that choosing who you are attracted to isn't as easy as choosing what to like or dislike at the dinner table. And explaining why you like or dislike something isn't really logical or explainable. It just is something that is part of you, and desiring it to be otherwise is not enough. I don't' care about the reasons why there are these natural dislikes or likes (be they environmentally caused, or caused by my father, or any other outside source or influence), they just are.

Now, what I can CHOOSE is what I do with this. I can CHOOSE to manage this, live with it, and I can CHOOSE to not accept it as a viable alternative for the way I WANT to live my life. I can CHOOSE something better. I can CHOOSE you. And that choice, though easily dismissed as "convenient", is so much more than convenient. I desire eternity. I desire a family. I desire a partner to share things with forever. I desire and CHOOSE to do these things with you. I desire YOU!

That said, I can lay out different scenarios of how to cope / live / deal with this situation of natural attraction and my CHOOSING you. I can:

1) stay away from all men at all times who I'm attracted to, and isolate myself from all friends of any kind where some kind of attraction can possibly develop, and try to focus and concentrate solely on you.

2) opt to cheat and lie and go behind your back and have rendezvous and encounters that lead to who knows what and hope that you won't be aware and try to get away with a double life.

3) choose to throw in the towel, give up, and move on - admitting we tried, but it just didn't work.

or 4) try to find a balance between what is a "natural attraction" and a beautiful relationship of desires and attractions with you.

I am not suggesting that I desire emotional or romantic connections with other men, and I'm certainly not desiring sexual connections with other men (I hope you consider me moral and committed enough to my values and core beliefs to know that I would never do that), but I am suggesting that I am happiest inside myself when I am able to express who I am, who I naturally am, and connect with other men, even in a bonding or brotherly-affectionate way. Though they are painful times for you to recall, I can say that my time in the MTC (as well as with the Young Men) were happy times for me because I was feeling natural and truly myself. And, if I do say so myself, you were "attracted" to me in the MTC because you saw how at ease and comfortable I was with myself being myself and you found those very qualities and values and attitudes and aura of my persona as being "endearing" and "attractive", even someone that you would consider marrying. I could say that you were and are attracted to me because of who I am, who the real me is, which includes these qualities and characteristics about myself. And in that environment, I was attracted to you and I did desire to marry you and I felt that we were happy and good for each other - and we bonded even more because I was myself, gregarious, free-spirited, engaging and involved.

I want to be that person again. Not because I want to have encounters or affairs, but because it will make me a better person with you as well. If I am more comfortable with myself, I can be more comfortable with eating the grapefruit and enjoying and desiring it for what it is - a beautiful grapefruit.

Since our discussion of a month ago, I have not had any physical, emotional, or any other kind of relationship with anyone. I have removed myself from all hugs at church (including priesthood hugs). I have not touched or even shaken hands with Will. I have not met or connected physically or in person with any of my MOHO chat friends. I have removed myself from all of these. I have done this because I told you that I would and that I did not desire to hurt you or deceive you or be dishonest. The hope was in so doing, I would be more focused on you. I have done it to restore your trust in me. And you are grateful for this step of honesty and devotion and intent that I have shown and you've said so even today.

But, the funny thing is, the more I isolate myself and remove myself from bonding with others, in friendship and brotherly affection and connections that are more natural yet platonic, the more I become uncomfortable with myself and this discomfort translates into indifference to you, to everyone, to life. I become disconnected and lose any desires I might have to eat the grapefruit at all. And I become irritable and disinterested in reaching out to everyone, especially you. I become assexual. As I've tried to counter this trend, it has proven true time and time again.

So, is there another option? Can there be a way where I can still enjoy being with oranges that can increase my desires for the grapefruit? Can I have connections in my life that are non-threatening to you and honest, that make me happier and more content with myself so that I can be more desirous of the physical nature of our marital relationship? I think so. It seems counter-intuitive, but is it really? If we are happy and content with who we are, then aren't we naturally more inclined to make those around us happy as well? It's the opposite of "misery loves company".

You want me to desire you more. You want me to try harder. You want me to not give up.

I want to desire you more! I want to try harder! I want to not give up!

But, the path we are on isn't working. I can't just flip the switch and the light comes on, or the taste buds change.

I am not seeking relationships that will tear down or destroy our marriage. I want relationships that will build up and make our marriage even stronger. I just need to figure out how to balance it all and make it work and have you understand me better and trust me.

You asked me what these other married guys do with their wives. I know that they work on it a lot. They are thinking of small thoughts of kindness, and focusing on how to be better husbands and fathers all the time. But they all struggle with the physical aspect of the relationship. It isn't easy. It takes work. And all of the other wives deal with the same feelings of rejection, of not being wanted, of being ugly, of not being good enough. It is the same. The ones who are making it work the most are those that are connected with others in an honest, non-secretive environment and the marital relationships seem to improve as the threat is removed.

I do not want you to suffer anymore. I don't want to blame yourself for any of this. And there is nothing that you can do to change it. It wasn't your fault. But it isn't mine either. I did not choose this. But I can choose how to live with it. And what I have tried (hiding it from you) doesn't work. What I have tried (ignoring it and hoping it goes away) doesn't work. What I have tried (praying and pleading with the Lord to remove it from me) does not work. What I have tried (isolating myself from all contact with other men) also really doesn't work. All that leads to is me bottling up inside myself, and then threatening to explode!

So what is left? I've got to think that finding a way to connect and be "myself" and do so honestly with you, can work to make my happiness with myself and comfort level with myself spill over to my happiness and comfort and attractions and desires for you. If this doesn't work, then I guess I'm open to other suggestions. But I'm not going to stop trying to make it work.

What I don't want is to keep going as we are, and making you suffer and constantly doubt yourself and inflict pain and suffering on you, or make you worry about me and doubt me and question my every desire. Instead, I want to enjoy and appreciate and desire grapefruit as much as you did today, even more... I want to totally embrace grapefruit and envelope myself in its sweetness and juiciness and goodness and savory delight. (But, I also want and need and crave oranges in my life)... bottom line, I LOVE YOU. And I am still here CHOOSING to be here with you. I want to be IN LOVE with you again because I LOVE YOU.

So what do you suggest? Where do we go from here?

That left me in fear of her response...

We didn't say much to each other in the evening. I was on pins and needles. I was reading in bed and she came in and didn't say anything. Finally, she joined me in bed and snuggled into me and whispered:

"I read your email."

"Uh huh... and?" I mumbled.

"I think I get it."

"Get what?" I asked hesitantly.

"Um... I know you have to hug, but do you really have to hug everyone?" she asked with a genuine and sweet smile.

And then she added... "Um... and do you really need to go to lunch with your MOHO friends every day?"

I smiled back and we turned off the lights... :)

So, how did I do? Was it a good thing to call off the therapy session?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I've spent the majority of my life fighting the notion that I am gay. I've spent my entire life living within the heterosexual community, and the majority of that as a married man, sporting the facade of being a heterosexual.

When I finally accepted myself for who I have always been, I started to take upon me the concept that I am a homosexual, a gay man. Though I have used those terms to describe myself in the last five years, even then, it has been a battle and a slow process to truly come to the realization that I am gay - in the sense that I am attracted physically, emotionally, romantically, and sexually almost exclusively to men - and that this has always been who I have been.

One of the first exercises I did when "coming out" to myself was writing my SSA / SGA life history, stitching together scenes, events, thoughts, emotions, occasions where there was no doubt as to where my attractions focused. It was very revealing and healing to do so. I recommend that exercise to anyone who may read this.

I had a gay friend instruct me to stand in front of a mirror and look at my reflection and say "I am a gay man!" That was very hard to do, but it got easier as time went on and took upon me this "identity".

Now, I find myself five years later going to therapy and as I'm accounting certain recent events and struggles, I happen to naturally describe myself to my therapist as a "gay man" and he abruptly corrects me and pronounces that I am a "bisexual man". This perplexed me and even put me off. It was as if my entire identity was wrong and I had to do another mental exercise to shift to the "bisexual" label. I confronted him on this and he led me on a discussion of where most of us are really bisexual and very few are exclusively heterosexual or homosexual.

But, I'm now struggling with this concept of "bisexuality". I don't know whether I feel I have earned the reward of being a "gay man" and now someone of authority is telling me it isn't true, or whether I'm not "worthy" to be a gay man because I have not had a sexual relationship with another man, or because I have been able to stay "happily and faithfully" married to a woman for 28 years. Either way, as funny as it sounds, particularly with years of denial and avoidance of the very subject, and refusing to even entertain the thought of seeing myself as a "gay man", I feel betrayed, hurt, unwanted, undefined, and lost.

I feel lost.

This bisexual thing sounds so iffy, so uncertain, so undefined. If almost everyone is mostly bisexual, I guess I should look at myself as being quite normal. And, one could look upon this, I assume, as being a blessing to "go either way".

But I don't "go either way". I have never been attracted to another woman but my wife. And as difficult as it is to admit it, our relationship takes a sincere amount of work, and the intimacy elements are often extremely difficult and never spontaneous. It doesn't come naturally, and has been a huge source of pain for my wife, even to wonder out loud numerous times why I even married her in the first place. Upon which I answer that I was and am attracted to her in many, many ways, but sexually being attracted to her has been difficult at best.

So, am I really bisexual? Should I worry so much about these labels? Why am I somewhat offended that my therapist corrects me and strips me of my hard earned, life-long struggled and acclaimed self-proclaimed identity as a "gay man"? Where do I belong? Where is home? Who is like me?

If I have one woman who I am attracted to does that make me bisexual? To really be a gay man, one must be exclusively attracted to men? And even one drop of attraction for one woman disqualifies one of being gay?

I am not attracted to women. I do not often even notice women in movies, in media, in real life walking down the street, particularly when a good looking man is in view. I love women, don't get me wrong... I hug and adore the widows in the ward, I am friendly and open to women at work, in the community and as neighbors... but attractions just aren't there... never have been, and at this point after five decades, I think it is safe that in this life they never will be. I am romantically involved with my wife. I have never desired a romance with another woman. I have, however, desired, sought and found bromances all through my life.

I don't see myself "going either way"... this sounds foreign and not a "good fit" for me.

Haven't I earned my merit badge yet? What else do I have to do? Do I have to go sleep around to find out for sure? Why do I now WANT to be considered by others as a "gay man"? It's like my whole life is continuing to be a lie... I mean, why is this bothering me so much?

Any thoughts?

I know the answer should be to just live my life and not worry about such things, but why does this bother me?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Touch celibacy...

I've been trying to focus on my wife and make her part of my daily thought process. Of course she is, but instead of just coexisting, I'm trying to make her "in" my thoughts and do things for her, little things that help her to know that I'm thinking of her, wanting her in my life, needing her with me.

I don't want this to sound mean, but it's work. It isn't as spontaneous as I want it to be. I have to actually work at it instead of just do it. Is that bad? Shouldn't this be more natural? Why is this so hard? Not in a bad way - just not as natural as I would want it to be.

For the most part, it is good...

But, this swearing off meeting / visiting / lunching w/ fellow MOHOs is driving me nuts. (NOTE: Do you realize how hard this has been to give these up? I've really found these connections worthwhile, helpful, life-changing in my attitudes about my inhibitions and insecurities - becoming more confident in myself, in who I am, even in my body image and in doing things that I wouldn't have dreamed of doing prior to these meetings - more on that later....)

I've told her that I will not meet anyone without her knowing and without her approval. As I'm trying to develop trust, and re-earn her faith in me (that I'm really not going anywhere, nor do I desire to leave her), I've decided that I will be a "good boy" and not venture out... and this includes no meetings / talks / hang out with straight guys, too, particularly those I'm attracted to... and this even counts no body-hugging or cuddling at church. (NOTE: Do you realize how hard it is to see Will in church and not stare at him, not touch him? And then to talk to him, even briefly in passing, and try to act normal like nothing is wrong, and still not stare at him, not touch him? not even rub his arm or his back? ARRRGGGHHH... I'm not sure that he even has noticed any change in my behavior - he was always so willing to hug me (even our infamous body hugs that started this whole touch celibacy thing I'm doing) - but like a typical straight guy, he's probably totally oblivious to anything going on at all, or the tension I'm feeling for not being able to touch him - and since I'm no longer initiating the physical contact and hugs, he's not initiating them either. I was always the initiator and he was the willing receiver. Alas, he's just a stupid straight guy - totally oblivious!!!).

None... nothing... niente...

It's been nearly three weeks since I've hugged another man... (not counting the three-tap-on-the-back priesthood hugs that my high priest group leader gives me) and so far so bad. I really want a hug today! I mean, I really, really need one! I really want to feel a man in my arms, just to connect, to breathe in the other person, to feel alive.

And yet, it's been good to realize how hard it has been for her to see this, to know this has been going on, and to be deceived by it... how hard it has been for her to know that her husband is attracted to men and now realize that he always will be... and how hard that is to know that her husband has been emotionally unfaithful and has been deceptive about it... yes, it has been very hard on her, too.

It's good that I'm working at this, but how long can someone like me hold on? Is this right? Is this fair? Some have suggested that this is wrong of her to ask this of me. Some have even said that she is not attempting even to understand my "needs" by requesting this cutting off all physical contact with guys. I ask you to hold judgment, to give her some slack, and to let me try to reconfirm our relationship and her trust in me... after all, it was I who lied / held back the full truth (while still telling the truth) and yet allowing omissions to make her think other than what really was going on. It is something I am trying to correct... and that takes some time.

But for how long?